Heroes and Villains: A Review of Kontrrazvedka by Vyacheslav Azarov

Anarchists can’t seem to give up their heroes, no matter how badly they are shown to have behaved. When anarchists rule or kill or silence or tax others there is always some justification for these actions. Often the excuse is wartime conditions, but in other cases the misdeeds are seen as simple mistakes by well-intended class warriors. Apparently anarchists, especially anarchist leaders, are not to be held to the same standards as mere mortals or the “class enemy.” Continue reading

On The Platform

I am not doubting the sincerity of the anarchist proposals of those Russian comrades.  They want to bring about anarchist communism and are seeking the means of doing so as quickly as possible.  But it is not enough to want something; one also has to adopt suitable means; to get to a certain place one must take the right path or end up somewhere else.  Their organization, being typically authoritarian, far from helping to bring about the victory of anarchist communism, to which they aspire, could only falsify the anarchist spirit and lead to consequences that go against their intentions.

In fact, their General Union appears to consist of so many partial organizations with secretariats which ideologically direct the political and technical work; and to coordinate the activities of all the member organizations there is a Union Executive Committee whose task is to carry out the decisions of the Union and to oversee the ‘ideological and organizational conduct of the organizations in conformity with the ideology and general strategy of the Union.’

Is this anarchist?  This, in my view, is a government and a church…The spirit, the tendency remains authoritarian and the educational effect would remain anti-anarchist.

Concerning the Platform for an Organization of Anarchists: Response of Some Russian Anarchists (Sobol, Schwartz, Steimer, Voline, Lia, Roman, Ervantian, Fleshin)

Reasons for the Weakness of the Anarchist Movement

 We do not agree with the position of the Platform “that the most important reason for the weakness of the anarchist movement is the absence of organizational principles.”  We believe that this issue is very important because the Platform seeks to establish a centralized organization (a party) that would create “a political and tactical line for the anarchist movement.”  This overemphasizes the importance and role of organization.

We are not against an anarchist organization; we understand the harmful consequences of a lack of organization in the anarchist movement; we consider the creation of an anarchist organization to be one of our most urgent tasks…But we do not believe that organization, as such, can be a cure-all. Continue reading

Anarcholeninism? A Critical Look at the Platform

I have been an anarchist for over 25 years.  During this time I have encountered many other anarchists who have ideas about the world and anarchy that are quite different from mine.  This variety of opinions and preferences has always been one of the appeals of the libertarian movement for me.  I enjoy the discussion and debate such differences encourage and produce.  If we all agreed with each other, life, especially life in oppositional movements, would be incredibly dull. Continue reading